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Hudgins: “I Remain Committed to All Our County Residents and to Our School System”

by Karen Goff March 4, 2016 at 10:00 am 12 Comments

Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy HudginsIn the wake of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors passing an advertised tax rate of $1.13 per $100 of home value, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins says she remains committed to the citizens of Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Public Schools.

The supervisors passed the maximum 4-cent tax hike on Tuesday, but school advocates say the increase is not enough. Each penny accounts for an additional $23 million in revenue, which will fall short to fully fund FCPS Superintendent’s request for nearly $2 billion from the county for 2017.

Garza said in January that a fully funded budget would mean raises for teachers, a commitment to keeping elementary class sizes under 30 students and no cuts to programs. FCPS may now have to consider cuts.

After the supervisors passed the tax rate increase 7-3 on Tuesday — supervisors Dan Storck (D-Mt. Vernon), Kathy Smith (D-Sully) and Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) voted no — Hudgins made a motion that the board look into a county meals tax to generate additional revenue. The motion passed.

And hours later, the board was asked by Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) to consider voting again on the tax hike and getting another shot at raising it to 5 cents. That was met with a contentious discussion before the board ultimately voted again. The do-over resulted in a 5-5 tie (Hudgins voted no), so it failed.

 

Here is the full statement from Hudgins:

I remain committed to all our county residents and to our school system and would like to share the following information.

As you may know, the annual real estate tax is a combination of the January 1 assessed property value and a real estate tax rate determined each year by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

This year Fairfax County property increased 1.2% over last year’s assessed values. In Hunter Mill District, as a whole, property values do better than the county average; our increase was 1.6%.

On March 1 2016, at the General Meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the Board voted to advertise

a maximum Real Estate Rate of $1.13 per $100 of assessed value of property. This is an increase of $0.04 from the previous year.

As in past budget cycles, the Board of Supervisors tried to set the Real Estate Tax Rate at a level sufficient to fund the service needs of the county, which includes the needs of Fairfax County Public Schools. Before casting my vote on the rate to be advertised, I heavily considered the impact to all the real estate taxpayers. My challenge is how to serve all residents who depend on county services while the impact on the taxpayer.

In the FY2017 budget, the County Executive recommended a 3% increase in the funds transferred to the school system. It was, and remains, my belief that our school system requires additional support, and we must have a serious conversation about those needs, the county’s needs, and the ability of our residents to support our collective needs.

A word of explanation – In this budget, each penny in the Real Estate Tax rate produces approximately $23 million in revenue. Therefore, the Board approved advertised rate of $0.04 higher at $1.13 will raise the average home owner’s tax bill $303.86 over last year’s tax bill.

As a taxpayer and supervisor, I recognize and share concerns regarding the increase to our tax assessment. I hope you share my concern in the limited taxing authority Fairfax County has compared to Virginia’s cities and towns, and the Board of Supervisors inability to diversify our revenue streams. In order to alleviate some of the burden from our home owners, we must minimize overdependence on the Real Estate Tax revenue.

Therefore, at 1 March Board meeting, on my motion, the Board directed county staff to provide the following information regarding

a. An updated report from the 2014 “Meals Tax in Fairfax County Task Force;”

b. A timeline of implementation of the meal tax for the restaurant industry should a meals tax referendum be successful;

c. An explanation of the cost relating to implementation to help the industry prepare for implementation should a meals tax referendum be successful; and

d. An implementation timeline for the Board of Supervisors and steps necessary to be in compliance for a November 8, 2016 voters referendum.

Again, I remain committed to our county residents and to our school system.

Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins/file photo

  • Mike M

    Seems to me Ms Hudgins is committed to a deeper and deeper creep into my pocket. She ought to commit to more detailed analysis than just accepting a number deposited by Ms. Garza. Having committed to unreasonable escalation, she goes to work trying to socially engineer the impact such that I shoulder the burden for others who do not.

    Fluctuating property values do not put money into nor take money out of my pocket. They don’t make anything cheaper either. So values float up and then the rate floats up. Double whammy and she is trying to justify it. Her logic there is fundamentally broken. It’s typical that she doesn’t get finance. Would she be committed to a tax decrease if property values sank? Nope!

    This is what we should expect from our newly elected Supervisor who knows she enjoys two years of accountability free tax creep.

  • cRAzy

    To FCPS, especially Garza, “fully funded” just means “I get everything I want and screw everyone else, including other departments, taxpayers, and the Board of Supervisors. My wishes are more important than anyone else’s needs.”

    • Heh

      You just had your real estate tax raised?

    • Phyllis

      I’m happy to support Dr. Garza’s budget request. She’s advocating for the future of Fairfax, for our children, and for our educators. She’s doing her job and doing it well.

      • Greg

        May I send you my tax bills for prompt payment?

  • meh

    Shame all residents is not just all legal residents. Time to pony up that sweet ESL money

  • LaureenMT

    I would have favored an 5 cent increase. One of the main reasons Fairfax County is so attractive to new businesses and residents is the excellence of our public schools, which are now in decline. I support full funding of the FCPS budget.

    • Mike M

      Proof? Montgomery says the same. In my experience, I’d say the schools are overrated and going downhill fast. And do we need more residents? Has it occurred to you that many of the new residents are not going to pay their way. So why should I pay for them? Has it occurred to you that the main reason FFX County is attractive to biz if its location and not its supposed “enhancements” funded by the taxpayers. Do you have evidence that the benefit exceeds the costs to me ad people like me? Are you an employee of FCPS?

    • Richard

      Exactly correct, Laureen. Supervisor Hudgins was shameful in her support this week of a 4 cent increase and her failure to support the five or six cent increase that was necessary. With her support, the reconsideration of the vote would have been possible and a five cent increase passed. Even so, I doubt she would have supported sufficient funding of the schools. Unless you’re a Reston developer, you don’t get much attention from Cathy Hudgins.

  • susie

    The open borders, globalists are alive and well in Fairfax County. Pay up suckers!

  • Greg

    For anyone who may not know, Hudgins has had a major role with WMATA’s (Metro) governance for many years. As you may know, or suffer through the painful and expensive experience of using Metro, the deadly system has been so poorly managed that it’s effectively been taken over by the federal government. Great job, Cathy. Costing us millions and delivering abominable service.

    It’s past time for you to retire (like you promised long ago) before you do to Fairfax County what you did to Metro. It’s also time for you to get a very sharp knife and start chopping the county and school budgets. You’ve taken far too much and and we get far too little for it.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    So, if I understand you, Cathy, not only do you want to take the shingles from the roof over my head, but you also want to take the food from the fork in my mouth as well?

    Shame on you, Cathy. And shame on the whole BoS.

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